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Enabling SMEs' access to capital markets

09-04-2019

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed ...

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed adopting a regulation to address the administrative burden placed on SMEs when listing or issuing equity and bonds, with the aim to increase liquidity on SME growth markets. The latter are a new category of multilateral trading facilities, which was established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. To this end, the proposal provides for targeted amendments to two key pieces of financial services legislation, namely the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation. Following interinstitutional negotiations the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 6 March 2019, and this is due to be voted in Parliament during the April II plenary session.

Competition issues in the area of Financial Technology (FinTech)

09-07-2018

The increasing number of FinTech services provided by newcomer start-ups, traditional financial institutions and big tech companies can bring new competition challenges to the playing field. Some factors can result in anticompetitive behaviours, namely the network effects derived from the use of online platforms, the access to customer data, standardisation, interoperability and the use of algorithms. Combined with a service-by-service analysis, the study provides both, descriptive analysis and normative ...

The increasing number of FinTech services provided by newcomer start-ups, traditional financial institutions and big tech companies can bring new competition challenges to the playing field. Some factors can result in anticompetitive behaviours, namely the network effects derived from the use of online platforms, the access to customer data, standardisation, interoperability and the use of algorithms. Combined with a service-by-service analysis, the study provides both, descriptive analysis and normative tools to anticipate and manage anticompetitive behaviours as they occur. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Externí autor

Alberto FRAILE CARMONA, Iclaves S.L.; Agustín GONZÁLEZ-QUEL LOMBARDO, Iclaves S.L.; Rafael RIVERA PASTOR, Iclaves S.L.; Carlota TARÍN QUIRÓS, Iclaves S.L.; Juan Pablo VILLAR GARCÍA, Iclaves S.L.; David RAMOS MUÑOZ, Universidad Carlos III; Luis CASTEJÓN MARTÍN, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Establishing a basis for European crowdfunding service providers

05-06-2018

Crowdfunding, an open call to the wider public for raising money online, can help ensure that both individuals and companies get access to finance, especially in the seed and early growth stages of their projects or business. Member States with a developed crowdfunding market have designed bespoke regulatory regimes that differ from each other with regard to the conditions under which platforms can operate, their scope of permitted activities and the licensing requirements applicable to them. As ...

Crowdfunding, an open call to the wider public for raising money online, can help ensure that both individuals and companies get access to finance, especially in the seed and early growth stages of their projects or business. Member States with a developed crowdfunding market have designed bespoke regulatory regimes that differ from each other with regard to the conditions under which platforms can operate, their scope of permitted activities and the licensing requirements applicable to them. As a result of this diversity, cross-border flows remain limited and crowdfunding service providers face challenges in scaling up their operations. To remedy this, the Commission has proposed a regulation providing for uniform, proportionate and directly applicable requirements for the authorisation and supervision of crowdfunding platforms, together with a single point of supervision, and a directive exempting crowdfunding service providers from the scope of MiFID II. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European crowdfunding service providers for business

29-05-2018

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to finance for small, innovative businesses is a challenge in all EU countries, even those where access to bank finance has remained stable during the financial crisis. Start-ups and other unlisted firms lack risk finance to invest in innovation and growth, in particular in the early stages of their development (IA, p. 6, 8). In view of closing this gap and complementing bank financing, the Commission supports alternative sources of financing, including technology-enabled financial services, the largest part of which consists in crowdfunding. In this context, crowdfunding is defined as an 'open call for the collecting of resources ... from the wider public through an internet-based platform for a specific project' (IA, p. 8). A 2016 Commission staff working document noted that crowdfunding has been developing rapidly since 2013, but remained concentrated in a few EU countries, with 81 % market share in the United Kingdom (UK) (IA, p. 16). Some Member States introduced national rules to regulate their online platforms and/or apply elements of existing EU legislation on financial services to specific types of crowdfunding, while others leave some aspects of the activity unregulated. This regulatory patchwork hinders cross-border crowdfunding and creates considerable market fragmentation (IA, pp. 26-30).

Helping European SMEs to grow: Start-up and scale-up initiatives for business ventures in the EU

06-06-2017

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99 of every 100 businesses, and employ two out of three employees in Europe. Some of them are high-growth firms that generate a disproportionately high number of new jobs. However, SMEs often face obstacles specific to their smaller size that can hamper their growth potential. The main recent initiatives undertaken to help European SMEs grow fall within the flagship initiatives of the Commission: the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the ...

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99 of every 100 businesses, and employ two out of three employees in Europe. Some of them are high-growth firms that generate a disproportionately high number of new jobs. However, SMEs often face obstacles specific to their smaller size that can hamper their growth potential. The main recent initiatives undertaken to help European SMEs grow fall within the flagship initiatives of the Commission: the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the single market strategy, the digital single market, and the capital markets union. The EU also supports SMEs through a range of long-term programmes running in the 2014-2020 period, such as COSME, Horizon 2020 and the structural and investment funds.

Monetary policy implications of financial innovation

15-05-2017

In this policy brief, we argue that the financial innovations triggered by the FinTech industry have the potential to affect the transmission of monetary policy as well as the informational content of important monetary indicators. While the overall effect of nonbank finance on monetary policy transmission is not yet clear, we argue that regulators and policy makers need to closely monitor the potential effects of FinTech on monetary policy transmission and to adequately adjust financial sector regulation ...

In this policy brief, we argue that the financial innovations triggered by the FinTech industry have the potential to affect the transmission of monetary policy as well as the informational content of important monetary indicators. While the overall effect of nonbank finance on monetary policy transmission is not yet clear, we argue that regulators and policy makers need to closely monitor the potential effects of FinTech on monetary policy transmission and to adequately adjust financial sector regulation.

Externí autor

Kerstin BERNOTH (DIW Berlin and Hertie School of Governance), Stefan GEBAUER, Dorothea SCHÄFER (DIW Berlin)

EU support for social entrepreneurs

16-03-2017

Social enterprises combine social goals with entrepreneurial activity. They represent a business model focused on having a positive social or environmental impact rather than simply making profit for shareholders. Social enterprises make a valuable contribution to the economy and society, operating mainly in local communities and covering areas such as education, healthcare, social services, work integration and environmental protection. They are also an increasingly popular choice for outsourcing ...

Social enterprises combine social goals with entrepreneurial activity. They represent a business model focused on having a positive social or environmental impact rather than simply making profit for shareholders. Social enterprises make a valuable contribution to the economy and society, operating mainly in local communities and covering areas such as education, healthcare, social services, work integration and environmental protection. They are also an increasingly popular choice for outsourcing certain public services of general economic interest. Social enterprises encounter challenges in their operations, mostly related to regulatory obstacles and difficulties in accessing funding. At EU level the momentum gained by the Social Business Initiative of 2011 is currently being supplemented by regulatory changes such as the review of the regulation on the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds, improving access to public procurement and developing methodologies for measuring social impact. The EU is also making efforts to improve funding opportunities, for instance via the Social Impact Accelerator and the 'microfinance and social entrepreneurship' axis of the Employment and Social Innovation programme. Additional funding is made available under the European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as programmes tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises. Expansion of the social economy, however, requires further development of a supportive regulatory environment, a tailored financial ecosystem, and also increased visibility and recognition.

Crowdfunding in Europe: Introduction and state of play

16-01-2017

Crowdfunding is a relatively 'young' form of financing – especially for SMEs and start-ups, but also for not-for-profit projects – that is developing fast in Europe. While researchers point out its benefits, among them the fact that project owners have greater control, and financial risk is spread among a larger number of people, they also note its drawbacks. The latter include a high cost of capital, occasional displays of a 'herd mentality', capable of depriving potentially worthier projects of ...

Crowdfunding is a relatively 'young' form of financing – especially for SMEs and start-ups, but also for not-for-profit projects – that is developing fast in Europe. While researchers point out its benefits, among them the fact that project owners have greater control, and financial risk is spread among a larger number of people, they also note its drawbacks. The latter include a high cost of capital, occasional displays of a 'herd mentality', capable of depriving potentially worthier projects of adequate funding, and risks for investors from incompetence or fraud on the part of the project owners, and unclear regulations. The European Commission (through a communication and two reports) and the European Parliament (through three resolutions) have taken an active interest in this form of financing. As a result, the Commission recently conducted a study on the state of the European crowdfunding market. It found that, while crowdfunding is developing fast, it is still concentrated in a few countries (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands), which have introduced tailored domestic regimes, and that it remains, for the time being, a national phenomenon with limited cross-border activity. The study therefore concluded that for the moment there is no strong case for EU-level policy intervention. Nonetheless, given the encouraging trends and the potential of crowdfunding to become a key source of financing for SMEs over the long term, the Commission noted that it will maintain regular dialogue with European supervisory authorities, Member States and the crowdfunding sector to monitor and review its development.

European venture capital and social entrepreneurship funds

07-12-2016

This initial appraisal concludes that the Commission's impact assessment is based on sound knowledge and on relevant data relating to the investment funds industry. However, the evidence regarding specifically the two fund frameworks under review - European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds - is, by the IA's own admission, limited. The IA and the review attached to it do not cover all the points listed in the review clauses of the two regulations, for instance the geographical ...

This initial appraisal concludes that the Commission's impact assessment is based on sound knowledge and on relevant data relating to the investment funds industry. However, the evidence regarding specifically the two fund frameworks under review - European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds - is, by the IA's own admission, limited. The IA and the review attached to it do not cover all the points listed in the review clauses of the two regulations, for instance the geographical and sectoral distribution of investments undertaken specifically by EuVECA and EuSEF funds. At first sight, it appears that different conclusions could be drawn using the same data provided in the IA, for instance regarding the low take-up and lower than expected performance of the funds. The range of options analysed in depth seems rather narrow. Finally, the purpose of the existing regulations is to enhance the growth of small and medium-size enterprises and of social businesses. The IA states that it is too early to judge whether these objectives have been achieved and excludes this issue from the scope of the analysis. Even so, an initial analysis of the public consultations undertaken shows that, despite the absence of more concrete evidence, a greater effort could have been made to integrate the voice of non-financial businesses, including SMEs and social enterprises, within the IA.  

Perspectives on transatlantic cooperation: Digital Economy

11-07-2016

Digitalisation is transforming our societies – new types of business activity are emerging and consumer habits are rapidly evolving. The internet, broadband networks, mobile applications, IT services and hardware form the basis of the digital economy which has a dynamic that is fundamentally different to that of more traditional sectors: it strengthens cooperation, enables a higher volume of cross-border activity and is a major factor in increasing prosperity and growth overall. In this context, ...

Digitalisation is transforming our societies – new types of business activity are emerging and consumer habits are rapidly evolving. The internet, broadband networks, mobile applications, IT services and hardware form the basis of the digital economy which has a dynamic that is fundamentally different to that of more traditional sectors: it strengthens cooperation, enables a higher volume of cross-border activity and is a major factor in increasing prosperity and growth overall. In this context, regulators and legislators are faced with a dilemma: How to legislate at national or at regional level on issues which are truly global? How to avoid unhealthy regulatory and taxation competition between the US and the EU? How to ensure that the US and the EU join forces regarding the development of a global digital economy? Will a joint approach of leading global economies lead to global impacts? These are just a few of the questions to which the EU and the US must find answers in order to allow the smooth and fair development of the digital economy and digital transatlantic and global markets. This briefing forms part of a broader research project on the perspectives on transatlantic cooperation in the US election year, requested by the Chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the United States.

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